Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati told reporters Friday that he does not consider Hezbollah to be a militia, but vowed to disarm the party that drove Israel out of southern Lebanon.
‘In our terminology Hezbollah is not a militia, it is a resistance and we believe there is a difference between resistance and militia,’ said Mikati.
‘They will. I said it,’ he said in Arabic when asked if the group would be disarmed.
Mikati’s talked to reporters after meeting UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in which Annan repeated his demand that all militias in Lebanon be disarmed.
Mikati explicitly linked the disarming of Hezbollah to other issues in the Middle East, including the release of Lebanese prisoners from Israeli jails.
He affirmed that the solution on Hezbollah arms will only come through Lebanese nationwide dialogue.
Mikati said he had assured Annan on Friday that Lebanon would fully cooperate with the international investigation into the Hariri killing.
He also said that free and fair elections were at the top of his government’s agenda and a UN observer team would be welcome.